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1 Choosing a Communications Platform

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What should you consider?

This guide describes a set of criteria that should be included in any assessment of communications platforms and associated suites of products, including OpenCloud's Rhino SLEE and Connectivity Packs.

Meeting your technical and commercial objectives
This document provides a framework for an objective evaluation of a communications platform, to make sure you choose the right one for your organization's technical and commercial objectives.

First, you will want to decide which technologies, products, and vendors should be part of the evaluation exercise. The following section, 2 Considering a SLEE gives an overall introduction of what a SLEE is, what it can do, and why you might consider it when evaluating a communications platform.

How should you proceed?

In evaluating any communications platform (including a SLEE), you should perform the following tasks:

  1. Collect functional and non-functional requirements for the services that will run on that platform.
  2. Assess vendor claims on paper about the platform, considering those service requirements.
  3. Technically evaluate the platform empirically, considering those service requirements
  4. Commercially evaluate the value and total cost of owning the platform.

To help in these processes, this document provides comprehensive lists of technological, technical, and commercial evaluation criteria. Each criterion will:

  • discuss if and why it is an essential requirement or feature for a communications platform
  • present different compliant options, and explain which is best
  • demonstrate if and how the Rhino SLEE meets that criterion
  • if applicable, give a step-by-step example of how to test the related requirement or feature.
OpenCloud provides evaluation licenses, test services, tools, and professional services to help with evaluating Rhino's product family.

Who should carry out the evaluation?

To perform the technological and technical phases of evaluating a communications platform (which include technical testing and validation), an organization will want to choose their most skilled system architects and administrators.

For the commercial evaluation (which includes considering factors beyond the overall cost of the platform, such as the vendor, customer references, vendor partners, and remaining ecosystem), organizations will want to nominate commercial and pre-sales consultants, and enlist the participation of key decision makers.

Why use this evaluation guide?

When deciding which products and technologies to use to fulfill the new requirements of an organization, carefully planning and carrying out a thorough evaluation is critical. As part of that, you will want to use a detailed evaluation guide (such as this one). If a vendor believes that they have the best technical product and best market offer, they should be able to provide you with an objective guide to performing an overall evaluation of their product. A good evaluation guide should let you draw your own, unbiased conclusions about the vendor's products and how they compare to available alternatives.

To that end, the evaluation guide should include procedures for testing. In the telecommunications industry especially, every new system deployed in a live network must be fully tested. So organizations must be prepared to commit the necessary resources to plan the development of proof-of-concept applications, with a trial deployment in their network.

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